Brand Director at Barbour EHS

October 19, 2020

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Built environment and fire industries set out blueprint to improve worker competence on high-risk buildings

A blueprint to improve competence for those working on higher-risk buildings and drive culture change has been set out by a cross-industry group representing more than 150 organisations in the fire and built environment industries.

Setting the Bar is the second and final report of the Competence Steering Group (CSG) and is an update of its Interim Report, Raising the Bar, published in August 2019. The work was initiated by the recommendations in Dame Judith Hackitt’s Building a Safer Future review.

The proposed overarching system of competence set out in the report is made up of four key elements:

  1. a new competence committee sitting within the Building Safety Regulator
  2. a national suite of competence standards – including new sector-specific frameworks developed by 12 working groups
  3. arrangements for independent assessment and reassessment against the competence standards
  4. a mechanism to ensure that those assessing and certifying people against the standards have appropriate levels of oversight.

Since the publication of Setting the Bar, the CSG and its working groups have consulted widely and taken on board feedback as they have continued to develop sector frameworks and overarching competence frameworks. These frameworks will provide the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours needed to carry out specific roles, and deliver a more rigorous approach to the essential training and assessment that is required.

Additionally, the competence requirements for the new role of Building Safety Manager have also been completed – which has been a major element of the CSG’s work. Setting the Bar includes a summary of the key points under the Working Group 8 section, but there is a full and separate report published by WG8 alongside this report, Safer People, Safer Homes: Building Safety Management, reflecting the fact that WG8 is establishing a completely new role and the competence needed. See the Reports section of this issue.

The CSG is recommending that all individuals whose work on higher-risk buildings is likely to materially affect safety outcomes, or who work unsupervised on these buildings, should meet the skills, knowledge, experience and behaviours set out in the competence frameworks developed by the industry.

The Full Report Setting the Bar and accompanying Annexes can be downloaded here.

The Executive Summary is available here.

This news story is in partnership with Barbour EHS, a specialist information service provider supporting professionals across sectors including fire and security, FM, health and safety, sustainability and energy.

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